What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
The principal aim of performing Gastric Bypass surgery is to permanently make the stomach smaller by dividing the stomach into two different sized compartments and making the smaller compartment into a new stomach pouch.
This Gastric Bypass technique is regularly combined with another procedure, known as a Gastrojejunostomy, whereby calorie intake is further restricted, by dividing and re-diverting some of the small intestine from the new pouch to a different position on the intestine.
When these two procedures are performed at the same time the procedure is technically known as a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, which is often abbreviated to RNY Bypass. This procedure is considered complex and should only be undertaken by an experienced Upper Gastro-intestinal Surgeon, with specialist Bariatric surgery skills.
Who Will Benefit From Gastric Bypass Surgery?
You may be a good candidate for Gastric Bypass Surgery if you know you are not well disciplined and find commitment to weight loss a significant challenge.
Because of the permanent and life changing nature of this surgery, patients must meet strict selection criteria before they can be considered for this procedure; they are as follows:
- Patients must have a significant history of diet failures
- Patients must have a genuine desire to overcome their obesity
- Patients must make a full commitment to getting their weight under control and for the significant changes that will be necessary following surgery
- Patients must become well educated about their condition and understand the benefits and risks of the weight loss surgery they are considering
- Patients must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 to 39 with other obesity related health problems
- Or, patients must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or above
How Is A Gastric Bypass Procedure Carried Out?
The aim of performing Bypass Surgery is to skillfully fashion a new stomach pouch to become around the size of an egg. This new reduced sized pouch will only be able to contain around 20cc’s of fluid or food at any one time, so it is drastically reduced in size and capacity.
In addition, some of the small intestine from the new pouch can be divided and connected to a new position on the intestine; this procedure is known as a Gastrojejunostomy.
Weight loss occurs in two ways: The reduced size of the stomach (gastric pouch) limits the amount of food patients can eat. The small intestine bypass produces hormone changes that reduce appetite. The hormone changes that occur following gastric bypass can improve or cure Type 2 Diabetes in up to 80% of patients.
This procedure can be carried out endoscopically (through keyhole surgery) or with an open surgical technique (a standard external incision). Endoscopic methods are becoming increasingly popular with specialist obesity surgeons such as those at East Midlands Bariatric Surgery Unit, as they pose less risk and allow a speedier and less painful recovery.
Both methods of surgery are carried out under general anaesthetic.
What Is The Recovery Like?
Once a patient is fully recovered from the effects of anaesthetic they are normally fully mobile fairly quickly after surgery as this helps avoid complications. Patients will consume only fluids whilst they are recovering in hospital. It is common to feel bruised, tender and uncomfortable in the first week after surgery, although any discomfort will be controlled with medication.
Patients are normally discharged home 3-4 days after surgery if the procedure was performed endoscopically or after 5-7 days if an open procedure was performed.
Following discharge, patients are strongly advised to stay gently mobile at home, but to avoid any level of activity that would put undue strain on new incisions.
Patients will be advised to take a specific amount of recovery time away from work, dependent on their job, but it is usual to take around two weeks off and to refrain from any strenuous exercise for at least 8 weeks following surgery.
Patients are discharged with strict meal planning advice, but in the first weeks after surgery the majority of patients will be unable to tolerate anything other than a very light and soft diet. Gradually a patient’s ability to tolerate most types of food will improve, although the volume of food they are able to consume in one intake will be substantially and permanently reduced.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Gastric Bypass Surgery?
All surgery involves an element of risk from developing complications. Risks such as bleeding, delayed healing, scarring, infection, nausea and vomiting, bowel perforation or leakage will all be discussed openly at consultation at the East Midlands Bariatric Unit, as well as our scrupulous efforts to minimise these risks to their lowest possible potential.
Smoking will adversely affect wound healing and smokers may be precluded from having this type of surgery as a result.
How Do I Find Out If I Am A Suitable Candidate For Gastric Bypass Surgery?
If you wish to find out if you are a suitable candidate for Gastric Bypass surgery, our surgeons at the East Midlands Bariatric Unit will be happy to carry out a full evaluation of your individual needs and provide you with a consultation to discuss your weight and any recommended treatment or surgery.
At the East Midlands Bariatric Unit we understand the importance of the weight loss surgery you are contemplating and throughout your consultation you will be encouraged to ask as many questions as you wish and to take your time in making a decision to proceed with any treatment or not.
How Do I Make A Consultation Appointment?
If you would like to find out if you are a suitable candidate for this procedure, please telephone or email us to organise a consultation appointment.